CASA: Category-agnostic Skeletal Animal Reconstruction

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yuefan Wu, Zeyuan Chen, Shaowei Liu, Zhongzheng Ren, Shenlong Wang


Recovering a skeletal shape from a monocular video is a longstanding challenge. Prevailing nonrigid animal reconstruction methods often adopt a control-point driven animation model and optimize bone transforms individually without considering skeletal topology, yielding unsatisfactory shape and articulation. In contrast, humans can easily infer the articulation structure of an unknown character by associating it with a seen articulated object in their memory. Inspired by this fact, we present CASA, a novel category-agnostic articulated animal reconstruction method. Our method consists of two components, a video-to-shape retrieval process and a neural inverse graphics framework. During inference, CASA first finds a matched articulated shape from a 3D character assets bank so that the input video scores highly with the rendered image, according to a pretrained image-language model. It then integrates the retrieved character into an inverse graphics framework and jointly infers the shape deformation, skeleton structure, and skinning weights through optimization. Experiments validate the efficacy of our method in shape reconstruction and articulation. We further show that we can use the resulting skeletal-animated character for re-animation.